Participation Nearly Doubles at 18th Annual Building Tomorrows 5K Run, 2-Mile Walk, and Family Fun Fest

April 20th, 2016

More than 650 members of the community joined The Arc of Essex County on Saturday, April 16th in support of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Raising more than $65,000, attendees enjoyed competing for the crown of the USATF-sanctioned 5K run, rallying family and friends to join their fundraising walk teams, and partaking in more than 15 interactive activities.

The morning kicked off with sunny skies and mild temperatures as Alex Delgado of Waldwick (18:27), Jason Heap of Morristown (18:32), and Maria Metzger of Basking Ridge (22:16) placed in the top three of the 5K run.  They were joined by nearly 200 other running enthusiasts eager to tackle the hilly course in Brookdale Park.

Following the run, nearly 500 walkers, many of whom proudly represented fundraising teams, enjoyed a 2-mile stroll through the park to raise funds for The Arc of Essex County.  Two teams stood out from the pack as they recruited the most team members and competed against one another to see who could raise the most funds.  The Essex County College Public Safety Academy Police Class BCPO-1 raised more than $3,000 and recruited 63 team members.  Returning team Action Jackson, led by Student Ambassador and Stepping Stones student Jackson Shulkowksi, raised $3,426 and from more than 75 donors!

This year's Family Fun Fest was the most interactive yet, with 15 different attractions, including food trucks, face painting, live theatre performances, caricatures, a bounce house, and more!  Children were especially drawn to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey's cookie decorating station, while adults were encouraged to smile and wave for Baseline Productions' aerial photos and video.

The annual Building Tomorrows family-oriented fundraiser is part of The Arc of New Jersey's Step Up for The Arc initiative, which raises both awareness and funds to support dozens of programs and services provided to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Among attendees were The Arc of New Jersey's Associate Executive Director, Celine Fortin, The Arc of Essex County Chief Executive Officer, Linda Lucas, Development Committee Chair, Stephen Falanga, Board President, Brad Hopton, volunteers, group home residents, sponsor representatives, and seven Student Ambassadors and Student Ambassador Mentors.

The event's success was due in large part to our generous event sponsors including: PSE&G, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bird Pharma Consulting LLC, Enterprise Fleet Management, Gallagher Bollinger, Prudential, Public Sewer Service, Stop & Shop, New Jersey Family, Madison Invalid Coach, Shop Rite, Connell Foley, Jonathan J. Proce Foundation, Oratory Prep School, Sax BST, Village Super Market, and Wakefern Food Corporation. 

We hope you join us for Building Tomorrows' 19th year next April, and keep an eye out for the save-the-date for the 3rd Annual Uncorked and Uncapped - Wine, Beer, and Food Fest on September 29th!